Northern Morgan County To See Multiple Culvert Replacement Projects Over the Spring & Summer

By Benjamin Cox on April 10, 2024 at 11:53am

Morgan County Highway Engineer Matt Coultas says there is some major work coming to the northwest portions of the county this summer. He says the projects will involve major culvert replacements: “Roger Orr in Road District 6 has one on South Finch, one on Leach Farm Road, and another on Willow Branch Road. Those are his 3. Then, Joe Wood has a number on Stewart Road, a couple of culverts on Durbin Lane, and then I think Claussen Road, but there are 6 actual locations in Road District #9.”

The Morgan County Commissioners approved the 9 culvert replacement projects in Road District 6 and 9, for a total of over $1 million. Yamnitz & Associates, LLC of Fieldon was the lowest bidder on both districts’ contracts.

Coultas says that the money will come out of the county’s Rebuild Illinois allocations that have to be spent by July 1, 2025. He says the construction of the project has two options: “The way the projects were put together was they were either utilizing a reinforced concrete pipe or they were using pre-cast box culverts with pre-cast in-sections and whatnot. I’ve met with the state on specifications on design. There is another option that you could do a cast-in-place where we will have to confirm reinforcement that will be in the boxes. The contractor is suggesting that they have the opportunity to do that to speed up the timeline of the project on site rather than wait for the pre-casters to be able to build the materials.”

Coultas told the Morgan County Commissioners on Monday that the difference in the timeline between cast-in-place or waiting on the pre-cast could be anywhere from 6-9 months.

Coultas says that the biggest concern for the projects is the local agricultural community’s use of the roadways during planting & harvest, and ensuring that there is minimal disruption to their work but also making sure the roadway is safe for them to travel on.

Coultas believes with the cast-in-place option, the contractor’s work will fall in between planting and harvest and cause the least amount of headaches for everyone involved.